6 Signs You’re Choosing the Best Real Estate Brokerage in Georgia
As a Georgia real estate agent, you’re an independent contractor that’s running your own business. You’re a boss in the truest sense of the word, but you’re not completely left to your own devices. If you want to earn an income as an agent in Georgia, you have to have a sponsoring broker.
The Georgia real estate broker you choose is a big decision for your new career. It affects everything from how much you make on each transaction to your professional network to the office supplies at your disposal. In other words, your brokerage is a big deal.
But how do you know which Georgia broker to choose? Below are six signs that a real estate broker is the right one for you.
1. They Are Licensed to Operate in Georgia
First things first, the brokerage needs to be licensed to operate in Georgia. Do your due diligence and look up the license number for any brokerage you’re considering. Find out if their license is currently active (they must renew every four years) and how long they’ve been licensed in the state.
2. They Have a Great Reputation in Your Local Market
For new agents that are establishing a brand, nothing is more important than the reputation of their brokerage. Buyers and sellers may not know you, but if they trust your brokerage it can help you win business. If you’re thinking about joining a big name national brokerage, don’t assume they have a solid reputation in your market. Each branch is individually managed, and all it takes is a few bad experiences in your area for a national brokerage to get name recognition for the wrong reasons. Check Yelp and NextDoor to find out what customers are saying.
3. They Provide Education and Training
Real estate is an industry that requires a lot of education if you want to stay at the top of your game. Basically, you can never learn too much. Georgia brokers that provide education and encourage their agents to gain as much knowledge as possible are the ones that are invested in your success.
Look for brokers that: Have training programs specifically for new agents Do regular market updates and analysis Provide incentives for agents that earn professional certifications Offer in-house courses and education * Have advanced certs and training themselves
4. They Are Interested in Being a Mentor
Mentorship is a special type of career training. It’s built around your individual success and specific guidance based on personal goals. For a new agent that’s starting out, mentoring can put you on the fast track to closing deals and navigating through a sometimes complex industry. At boutique brokerages, the broker is usually on board with mentoring new agents, which is one reason why they are selective. If you’re thinking about joining a large brokerage the broker/owner probably won’t have time to personally mentor every agent. If this is the case, see if the brokerage has a mentorship program that pairs new agents with industry veterans.
5. They Offer a Fair Commission Split
There’s no getting around this one. Honestly, it shouldn’t be the make it or break it consideration, but the commission split could be a determining factor for which broker you ultimately choose. Commission splits between brokers and agents aren’t regulated in Georgia. There are additional caveats that can come into play like franchise fees, caps, and office fees. Some brokers will also offer a sliding commission that improves the more you sell. For example, you may start at a 70/30 split (70% to the agent and 30% to the broker) but after $1 million in sales volume, it slides to 80/20. New agents can expect a lower commission split simply because they are less likely to bring in the business right off the bat. Before signing on with a brokerage, make sure you get all of the commission and fees information in writing. It’s a real estate best practice that makes the monetary matters crystal clear.
6. They’ll Help You Become a Lead-Generating Machine
The commission split doesn’t matter a whole lot if you aren’t getting to the closing table in the first place. Some Georgia real estate brokerages are better than others at helping agents generate leads. Opportunities include open houses, working the office phone lines, getting leads from busy senior agents, and networking events. Ask each brokerage you talk to how their agents get leads and whether they offer lead generation support for new agents.
A Word About Online Real Estate Brokerages in Georgia
More and more real estate agents are considering online brokerages for the enticing commission split. They may be able to hold a broker license in the state of Georgia, but are online brokerages on par with traditional brokers?
An online real estate broker may be a good idea if: You’re a seasoned real estate agent that doesn’t need additional training. You have established a large sphere of influence and don’t need help generating leads. You’ve built up a good reputation and name recognition in your local market. You have your own home office that’s fully equipped. * You are good at holding yourself accountable to get work done.
Bottom line: traditional real estate brokers provide more support, which is often highly beneficial for new agents.
You need to have a broker once you get a real estate license, but it's best to start your search well in advance. The top Georgia brokerages can be very selective and they may only take on new agents every now and then. It can help to reach out early on in the licensing process to establish lines of communication. Starting early will also give you ample time to research and line up interviews to get a good feel for whether a broker is going to be the right fit.
Want to learn more about being a real estate agent in Georgia? Check out our career center.